In 1996, September 8th was designated as World PT Day. Each year on this date, physical therapists unite in solidarity to recognize the work they do with patients and in their communities. Using this day as an opportunity for advocacy, this year’s theme focused on arthritis prevention and management.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly one-third of adults aged 45 to 64 report doctor-diagnosed arthritis. This number increases to half (50.4%) after the age of 65. Take this quiz to learn some key facts about osteoarthritis:
- True or False In 2019, about 528 million people worldwide were living with osteoarthritis.
- True or False About 73% of people living with osteoarthritis are older than 55 years, and 60% are male.
- True or False With a prevalence of 365 million, the hand is the most frequently affected joint.
- True or False With aging populations and increasing rates of obesity and injury, the prevalence of osteoarthritis is expected to continue to increase globally.
- True or False Osteoarthritis is an inevitable consequence of aging.
- True or False There is no cure for arthritis.
- True or False Pain, stiffness, redness, and swelling are common symptoms of arthritis.
- True or False 344 million people living with osteoarthritis experience severity levels (moderate or severe) that could benefit from rehabilitation.
- TRUE. This number represents an increase of 113% since 1990.
- FALSE. 60% are female.
- FALSE. The knee is the most frequently affected joint followed by the hand and hip.
- TRUE. Education and advocacy are important to the management of this disease.
- FALSE. There are steps you can take to prevent arthritis.
- TRUE. While there is no cure, there are steps to manage it. One such approach is physical therapy.
- TRUE. These symptoms can be minimized as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
- TRUE. Read on to learn about the important role of rehabilitation.
How can physical therapy help prevent and manage arthritis?
Promote Proper Body Mechanics and Joint Integrity
Proper body mechanics are essential for individuals with arthritis to avoid further strain on the joints. Physical therapists educate patients on correct posture, body alignment, and movement techniques to minimize stress on the affected joints. By adopting these techniques, patients can protect their joints and manage pain more effectively.
Arthritis can lead to joint degeneration over time if left untreated. Physical therapy plays a vital role in preventing further deterioration of the joints. Through a combination of exercises, lifestyle modifications, and pain management techniques, physical therapists work with patients to slow down the progression of arthritis and preserve joint integrity.
Pain Management, Joint Mobility, and Strengthening
Physical therapy is an important part of your overall treatment. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy will guide you on how to exercise safely, increase your activity levels, set goals, and find the right balance between rest and activity. Education on pain-relieving techniques, promotion of joint mobility, and provision of muscle-strengthening exercises can play a significant role in improving functionality and preserving joint health.
At Professional Therapy Services, our Doctors of Physical Therapy include Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialists and Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialists. Our comprehensive services are tailored to meet your unique needs through the customization of a physical therapy treatment plan allowing for optimal functional independence. If you are experiencing arthritis symptoms, consider requesting an appointment with one of our physical therapists who can guide you on the path toward a better quality of life. Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence—physical therapy can make a huge difference in your arthritis journey.